From Holly Cupala, another interesting interview, this time with Allan Stratton, author of Borderline (See the GLW review of the book from a couple of months ago). Here's a bit of Holly's interview:
I’ve also visited many mosques in Egypt, Turkey and Spain. (The imam at the Mosque of Quaitbey in Cairo was kind enough to let me climb the minaret to see the surrounding City of the Dead.) But work on BORDERLINE introduced me to a range of Muslim congregations and prayer services, both conservative and progressive, where I was reconfirmed in the obvious: that there is an equally wide range of religious interpretation and observance in Muslim congregations and individuals as there are in Christian and other faith traditions; and that the media has done a great disservice in reinforcing only negative stereotypes of Islam, rather than exploring the progressive elements of the faith as well.
That said, I must stress again that this is a character-based, coming-of-age mystery/thriller. By the time one starts writing, all one’s research should be internalized so that the reader isn’t aware of it. Characters and story are paramount: they must be gripping. Research can help root a novel by giving it a more authentic voice; for the greater the human truth of a novel, the greater the spell it casts on its audience.
Read the whole interview at Holly's site.